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Do Marigolds Kill Other Flowers?

Question:

If you put marigold flowers in a container with other flowers, will they kill the other flowers, or their blooms? I just planted some marigolds with purple daisies, and all the blooms wilted on the purple daisies. Is it from the aroma that the marigolds put off?

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Barb from Charlottte, NC

Answer:

Barb,

It's possible that your marigolds killed your purple daisies. Marigolds release a chemical substance with a pungent odor that has been proven scientifically useful for inhibiting attacks from root-knot nematodes, vine weevils, and various other insects, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. This is why you often hear about gardeners planting marigolds as companions next to their tomatoes, which are especially susceptible to some of these attacks. When one plant has a natural chemical influence on another plant, it is referred to as allelopathy. This is really just a survival strategy. A plant releases inhibitory chemicals into the soil or air in an effort to out-compete its neighbors for moisture, nutrients, and space to grow. Sunflowers are a good example of this. They are known to prevent the germination of other seeds.

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Sometimes, as in the case of marigolds and tomatoes, we can turn allelopathy around to our advantage and use it for weed and pest control (a.k.a. companion planting). Other times, through trial and error, gardeners discover that certain plants just don't make good neighbors. Common garden plants known to have allelopathic properties include legumes, grains, brassicas, sunflowers, marigolds, and many members of the aster/daisy family. In some cases, these plants will support and protect their neighbors. In other cases, they can kill seedlings or limit seed germination. Your intuition is probably correct. I suspect this is what happened to your daisies.

The marigold species typically used for their allelopathy benefits are African (Tagetes erecta) or French marigolds (Tagetes patula).

Ellen

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About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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May 27, 20080 found this helpful

Wow, now that you mention it, this is something I've wondered. I've planted marigolds, a favorite, with my vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, to ward off bugs. Must work, I've done it for years and years and never used any kind of insecticide. I try to be as kind to my surroundings as possible.

In case I miss it would you mind to email responses you get?

Thanks, Peg

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May 28, 20080 found this helpful

I've planted Marigolds and Rose Moss together with no problem at all. Seeds that fell in the planter grew to maturity and bloomed the next year too.

Hope this helps.

Tina

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 28, 20080 found this helpful

Marigolds do not kill other flowers. Perhaps you put another flower with different watering or sun requirements with the marigolds. And in some cases, you may have gotten a flower that just wasn't genetically healthy.

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May 28, 20080 found this helpful

Marigolds are planted in gardens with all kinds of flowers. They do not do any harm. The smell deters insects from your veggies, as the previous poster mentioned.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 28, 20080 found this helpful

Probably not. You more than likely disturbed the roots of the daisies. Just water everyday for about a week after planting potted plants, to help shock to their roots or the ones near by. Trim back the daisies, cut off the flowers, it's a little under the weather & needs time to recover from the shock. If u don't, sometimes when this happens, you can lose the one that were hurt.

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